I am really trying to catch up with our Chiang Mai blog posts, but felt an urge to write a quick post about what is gong on right now. I am alone. In Luang Prabang. Sitting on a small terrace overlooking the Mekong. This is significant because the only other time I have been alone on this trip is when I went for a massage, with Simon watching The Lion King (he thinks he's Simba) and Martin reading.
I have spent the last hour walking around Luang Prabang without anyone asking me to carry them, or for ice cream. In fact, no one has asked anything of me. Glorious! The truth is, I have taken 2 backpacking trips in my life, Peru for one month and Mexico for 2 months, and these were both solo adventures. I spent my time as I pleased, planning only for me and the things that I wanted to do. My mind was not cluttered with worrying about others needs and whether they were hungry or tired or had sunscreen on.
This trip is nothing like those old days, and it takes some time to adjust. I read through the guide books, making mental notes of things I want to do and see. But then I remember that it's not just me, and that we have a little guy in tow that can't keep up with it all. And we have to plan accordingly. This trip has a different pace and a different purpose. We are seeing and experiencing the world together, as a family. I can hold off on trekking and rafting until next time.
I also remind myself that in traveling with a toddler we, too, are experiencing our travels differently. We are slowing down, doing things that might not have been on our radar if it was only Martin and I. (Such as the Chaing Mai Zoo, for example.) We also experience Simon's reaction to all of these new experiences, as well as our own. Feeding the hippos and the elephants at the zoo with Simon is an amazing memory for me.
I am very happy to be traveling with my family, and grateful for moments of solitude when I can reflect on and savor those moments.